LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Lakers closed out the Memphis Grizzlies, 125-85 in front of a jubilant crowd at Crypto.com Arena on Friday, April 28. D’Angelo Russell scored a game high 31 points in the victory, as the Purple and Gold advance to the second round after their 4-2 series win.
From the tipoff, the Lakers were focused and played with a sense of urgency. Their offense shot 53.8 percent from the field. Their defense held Memphis to 30.2 percent.
LeBron James vowed after the Game 5 loss, he and the Lakers would be better. A man of his word, King James finished with 22 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds.
The best player on the court was Russell. He played his best game in a Lakers uniform, and he picked a great time to do so. The clutch performance will go down in Lakers history.
He broke out of a playoff slump in a big way, having never shot 50 percent or better in a postseason game before.
“To finally make some (shots) is definitely a good feeling, but the win was better, to be honest,” Russell said.
This was a fantastic, and deeply satisfying win for the franchise. The Lakers completed its first home win to close out a playoff series since 2012, when it beat the Denver Nuggets in Game 7 in the first round.
Rui Hachimura was once again key in the victory, including two dunks that had the arena rocking. Hachimura, Russell, and Trevor Vanderbilt have been instrumental in the Lakers turnaround since February.
Defense wins championship- and this newly constructed Lakers team certainly plays great defense. They held the young Grizzlies to just 30 percent from the field.
Memphis was young, confident and brash. JA Morant was held to a meager 10 points on 3 of 16 shooting from the field. It was a big error for Dillon Brooks to disrespect LeBron and the Lakers. Brooks and the rest of the Grizzlies will have the Summer to reflect on this devastating playoff loss.
Up next for the Lakers is the winner of the scintillating Sacramento Kings/Golden State Series. They face off in a winner take all Game 7.
After starting out the season at a mark of 2-10, the Lakers are now a legitmate threat to win the NBA Title.